The magic's in the beard. The lovin's in the lyrics.
Associated Students Productions (ASP) Pop Music, in sponsorship with Banner Bank and the AS Environmental Center, will present indie folk artist Iron and Wine for an intimate event at 8 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Mount Baker Theatre.
Iron and Wine is the stage name for Samuel Beam, a Florida native who made his name by releasing lo-fi tapes in Miami. Iron and Wine's first CD, “The Creek Drank the Cradle,” was released in September 2002. Shortly thereafter, Beam headed into the studio for the very first time to make a record. The end result was the resolutely hi-fi record “Our Endless Numbered Days,” which was released by Sub Pop in 2004.
Maybe the creative mastermind of Beam's persona is derived from his expansive ambiguous beard.
“Sam Beam's beard is kind of like Samson's hair. I feel like if he shaved it he would immediately release an album that sounds like Creed,” said Victor Cuellar, ASP Pop Music assistant coordinator.
As Beam's celebrity increased he began to shy away from the spotlight, moving to a remote location in Texas and giving few interviews to the press. Beam is a father of two daughters and formerly taught cinematography at Miami International University of Art and Design. He has lent his expertise in cinematography to the production of his own music videos. Iron and Wine's sound has been compared to Elliot Smith, Neil Young and Simon and Garfunkel.
One of the most widely recognizable of Iron and Wine's songs is the re-release of The Postal Service's “Such Great Heights” that was featured on the “Garden State” soundtrack and an MandM's commercial. Iron and Wine has also gained popularity in his own right with songs like “Naked as We Came” and “Each Coming Night.”
Beam brings the depth, candor and vulnerability to his craft that is missing from much of today's music. With lines like, “But now I see love/tracked on the floor where you walked outside/now I seek love/looking for you in this other girl's eye,” Iron and Wine's melodies are sure to melt even the most frigid hearts.
“If I had to describe Iron and Wine's music I would say it's like spooning with someone you love on a warm summers day while a children's choir is singing in the background,” Cuellar said.
Iron and Wine is currently on tour promoting its latest release, “The Shepherd's Dog.”
Unlike most shows that are brought to Western, Iron and Wine will be playing at the Mount Baker Theatre in downtown Bellingham.
The Mount Baker Theatre's elaborate and majestic interior will provide the backdrop for an intimate night with Iron and Wine. The buildings ambience paired with the mellow lyrical genius of Iron and Wine will create a not-to-miss experience.
“The Mount Baker Theatre is a legendary historic theatre. It's gorgeous on the inside,” Cuellar said. “The theatre will begin renovations in March so we wanted to do an event there before the renovations began.”
The process of booking a show is long and often times arduous, with lots of paperwork and deliberation going into it. When ASP initially proposed Iron and Wine play at the Mount Baker Theatre there was some resistance from the administration.
“Administration initially voiced concern,” ASP Director Jeff Talbot said. “The main concerns were regarding if the money spent on the concert was being used in the best possible way for the students. We were lucky enough to have an administration that ultimately trusted the experience and advice of ASP and ASP Pop about what is best for the students.”
AS productions demonstrated to the board why the Mount Baker Theatre was an appropriate venue for this show submitting our request in writing and in multiple meetings, he said. One reason for the theatre was the 1500 person capacity, 400 more than the PAC main stage. Since Iron and Wine is such a big name more students would be able to attend this concert. The Mount Baker Theatre also has good acoustics and is a strictly performance venue unlike the VU Multipurpose Room, said Talbot.
Opening for Iron and Wine is Seattle band Arthur and Yu. On tour to promote their recently released solo album, “In Camera,” Arthur and Yu boasts folk-pop melodies, flutes twinkling in the background, and plenty of reverb for an extremely full sound.
Banner Bank, a co-sponsor of the show, will be giving away prizes at the event, including Xboxes, iPods and Western gear.
The AS Environmental Center will be also be on hand to promote the use of alternative modes of transportation to the concert, including the Whatcom Transportation Authority. A shuttle has been organized to transport people from the school to the concert. Bus numbers 14, 105 and 108 will be leaving Haggard Hall between 6:25 p.m. and 7:55 p.m. to drop students off downtown.
Tickets will be $20 for Western students with ID and $24 for the general public. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Western Associated Students Bookstore and through the Mount Baker Theatre box office.